How SimForm compares to MoldFlow, MoldEx3D, and other CAE injection molding simulation software

by Chris Blake

Launching a new computer-aided engineering (CAE) injection molding simulation software tool like SimForm inevitably prompts the question: what’s the difference from products like Moldflow® by Autodesk, MoldEx3D, and others?

The market for moldflow analysis and molding simulation includes many software tools, each with their strengths and weaknesses. This post will address how SimForm positions itself among these other products—what it is and what it isn’t—and elucidate the unique role it can play within injection molding design workstreams. Most importantly, it describes how SimForm complements high-end specialized simulation software like Moldflow and MoldEx3D by providing distinct value to mold makers and their customers.

Target customers

In fact, let’s start there: who should use SimForm? It’s natural to assume that as a molding simulation tool, SimForm would try to appeal to the people who already use moldflow software. But SimForm is not really for those who have advanced enough in their science to take advantage of Moldflow or MoldEx3D. Those are very precise simulation tools that work best on highly detailed molds, mostly for mold design validation near the end of the process.

Instead, SimForm was created for mold designers, tooling managers and other stakeholders without simulation expertise to help guide the placement of cooling lines early in the design process. No training or certification is needed to use SimForm, which means that you don’t have to rely on a third party—in-house or outsourced—to complete costly simulations. The designer has the control.

Pricing and deployment model

Everything about SimForm makes it easy to adopt. Not only is it a cloud-based app, so there’s no need for costly computers or power workstations, but there’s also no up-front investment. In contrast to MoldEx3D and MoldFlow, which have licence purchase fees regardless of how much or how little they get used, SimForm’s pricing model is based on usage—a customer only pays when they use it.

Check out our pricing page for more information.

And in terms of usage, there are some other key differences that should be considered.

Solve time

MoldFlow and MoldEx3D typically take several hours to generate their results. SimForm, on the other hand, delivers feedback in less than 15 minutes. In other words, a designer can evaluate multiple different concepts within the same day, leveraging the scalability of the cloud.

We accomplish these incredible speeds because our solver technology runs on Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). Find out more on our comparison page.

Mold material

One final difference: Most moldflow simulations do not take into account the specific properties of the mold material, unless a top-tier license is purchased. By excluding this factor in lower level simulations, they run more quickly and are relatively more affordable to use. However, it also means those tools are not able to identify hot spots, nor can they guide injection mold cooling design. To be clear, that is not a shortcoming of other moldflow simulation tools, because that is not their intended use.

In contrast, SimForm considers by default the properties of the mold materials, which is vital to accurately simulating the thermal performance of early mold design concepts. Our knowledge base article, Creating Custom Materials, discusses this in detail.

Complementing mold flow, not competing

As you can see, SimForm and advanced tools like Moldflow and MoldEx3D solve very different problems. Moldflow, and similar solutions, are ideal for final validation of mold designs and detecting very advanced problems that even experienced designers would not see. While their simulations take more time and expense to use, customers trust them to produce highly accurate results.

SimForm looks at simulation through a different lens. Mold designers can use SimForm autonomously, without waiting for external support, to accelerate the design process and enable rapid concept iterations that inform their decisions. The goal is not to generate final validations with high accuracy, but faster feedback at low cost and with minimal expertise.

In this way, SimForm works alongside more advanced moldflow simulation tools to streamline and inform mold design early in the process. Optimizing designs with SimForm alleviates significant risk of only identifying issues at later verification phases, and can help designers create more cost-effective molds through rapid simulations and iteration.

Learn more

To experience for yourself what makes SimForm a valuable component of your mold design simulation toolkit, sign up for a free trial or book a demo today.